VC Notes Archive Office of the Vice Chancellor
Friday, August 17, 2018

The Transparent World We Live In

Good morning!

Today I want to talk about our values as individuals and as an organization, and how we live into those values each day.

vc_aug_17_transparent.jpgMany of you have probably seen or heard about the incident that occurred last weekend in which a young man wearing hospital scrubs was filmed in a local business. In the video he can be heard using racially offensive language.  The clip was shared on social media, and local TV stations picked it up as a news story.  Although the man later apologized and expressed regret about his behavior, on Sunday he was removed from his position at a local hospital, according to news reports.

This was an unfortunate incident, but there’s a lesson to be learned:  We live in a fishbowl.  Cell phones with their cameras are omnipresent, almost like an additional appendage for many people.  Social media networks are pervasive, the new, visible “grapevine” that makes every individual a potential publisher.  These tools have given average citizens a new voice and a new sense of empowerment to call out bad behavior and bring public opinion to bear on it.

All of us need to realize, in this new world of transparency, we are considered to be an extension of where we work or where we go to school.  Our behavior, whether good or bad, reflects on UMMC.  If our behavior suggests that our values are not aligned with the values of UMMC as an organization, then there may be consequences. 

What are those UMMC values?  Well, they include honesty, civility and respect for the dignity of each person.  Certainly, in our world of health care, respect for our patients’ privacy and confidentiality is a core value, along with diversity and inclusion. 

This recent experience brings to mind of one of the definitions of character that always intrigued me, attributed to legendary basketball coach John Wooden:  “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

The fact is, in today’s environment filled with cell phones and security cameras, you never really know who is watching.  So, it’s a good idea to be your best self all the time, and a positive reflection of your workplace and your co-workers.

We want the people who work and study here to uphold our values as part of a strong, caring culture that will help lead us to A Healthier Mississippi.


Follow me on Twitter @LAWoodwardMD